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Wolf

Wolf Blitzer discusses issues in the nation's capital and breaking stories around the world.

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CNN

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01:01:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Channel v759

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mpeg2video

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ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Isis 26, Syria 14, U.s. 10, Michael Brown 10, United States 9, James Foley 9, Foley 7, Us 6, Ferguson 5, Europe 5, Israel 5, Missouri 4, Iraq 4, Ramallah 4, Mercedes-benz 3, Cnn 3, Charlie 2, Nicole 2, Syria Or Iraq 2, Brooke Baldwin 2,
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  CNN    Wolf    Wolf Blitzer discusses issues in the nation's  
   capital and breaking stories around the world.  

    August 20, 2014
    10:00 - 11:01am PDT  

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american lives are at risk and basically sort of sign posting for the rest of the world that the u.s. will look for the man who can -- and the people who conducted this murder, and that's what the u.s. intelligence community is already doing. they're looking at the video. they're looking for clues about who this was. trying to identify who the person was. who the people were behind it all. trying to figure out a way to get at isis inside syria. we have seen in the past counterterrorism missions often can take years. it can be years before they get the perpetrators. the president doing what is necessary to see justice done. not putting any time line on a u.s. effort. >> no doubt, intelligence agencies in western europe as well as the united states trying to analyze the voice of the killer in the video to see if it matches voices on record. to our analyst paul krusshenk.
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there are numbers of french, belgi belgiums, german, even people from the united states. we know of one american from florida who committed a suicide attack in syria. how big is the threat internationally from isis? >> that's a very, very significant threat. europe officials tell me up to 1,000 europeans have joined isis. hundreds have come back to europe. the concern is these people could be trained by the group and set back to europe and even on to the united states to launch terrorist attacks. there's also concern the people who are now in europe who once fought with isis before could launch attacks on their own. we saw in may a french national carry out an attack on a jewish museum in brussels where he shot four people. so concern you could see more of that in the weeks ahead. >> nick paton walsh standing by
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in erbil. it does seem the united states have drawn the line in terms of their involvement, protecting kurdish areas, protecting the kurdish north, which has been a good ally to the united states, which has been well run, which has a fighting force that's been far more capable on the battlefield, the peshmerga, than security forces, the iraqi government in baghdad. >> going down to the real nub of this, has the united states decided isis is a threat too late in the day. if you look back six months ago just when they were getting under way, it was quite clear they would become a threat. their ideology was out there. these kind of brutal acts were already on video. no april tied for confronting them inside syria. they sweep into iraq. certainly that changed things. the recent moves against the yazidis perhaps awakened washington, that they couldn't
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really sit by and do nothing at all. how far can they actually go here without introducing ground troops. i should point out something interesting about the capacity for isis to attack europe. we spoke to a man who was involved in running the twitter account of isis that were used in fact initially to seduce or entice potential foreign recruits from western countries. part of that process was asking questions, et cetera. he pointed out to us, once these foreign recruits arrive, their passports are taken from them and they were kept in a cabinet in a particular office in syria where isis have their headquarters. if you believe that, there's a very clear strategy to regulate the ability of these foreign jihadists to go back to their homelands. many fear that's phase two. yes, syria and iraq, and creating what they refer to as their broader caliphate, all the way from lebanon, i should point
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out, to iran, is where they really have an idea. then perhaps after that it's the west that's in their cross hairs, anderson. >> i want to play some of the sound of what president obama said about james foley, this young american journalist killed yesterday. another american whose life is being threatened, a journalist held by isis. but let's play what the president said. >> today the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of jim foley by the terrorist group isil. jim was a journalist. a son, a brother and a friend. >> paul crushshenk, terrorism analyst, the way these groups operate, oftentimes a journalist can be kidnapped by one group, a criminal gang, and traded or sold to another group like isis. >> that's right, but i think the indications are in this case that they were kidnapped by one
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group and this particular group is the same group now responsible for this dreadful execution, anderson. something that isis has put together i think no accident that they used a british fighter in this, somebody who spoke english. this really amplifies the message. and there's also a kind of implicit threat. this is a guy who would have a western passport and would travel back to the west and launch some sort of retaliatory strike there. >> do we know, paul, much about the funding of isis? there had been reports earlier about them raiding banks in mosul. some of those reports were later contradicted. but they have had access to oil fields in syria. they obviously are well funded. they have a big technological effort. they have obviously been able to take high-caliber weapons, armored vehicles from iraqi forces. in terps of the funding, there
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was also a report in "the new york times" about governments largely in western europe paying kidnapping ransoms. not necessarily to isis but al qaeda-based group over the last several years. and that's become a major source of income for some of these groups. >> that's right, al qaeda and its affiliates have raised over $100 million according to the u.s. treasury department from kidnappings. european governments often paying ransoms. has given al qaeda and affiliates significant resources. isis is a rich organization. it has tens of millions of dollars. it raises most of the money itself. that's a lot of the concern when you think about the 9/11 operation. just cost half a million dollars to put together. this is a very cash-rich terrorist organization. they operate training camps across syria. there's real concern if they wish to they could retaliate in the west with terrorist attacks. >> if isis believes killing
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foley would somehow alter u.s. policy, the president made clear, no change in the u.s. posture right now toward them. if anything, a strengthening of the u.s. posture towards them. >> absolutely, and that's what analysts have been saying as well. that's really the u.s.' one choice here given what we saw on that video, and that sends a message to the world as well of the brutality of this organization. i think we saw the president use remarkably strong words. laying out, you know, kind of based on what we've done, what we will continue to do, saying we will be vigilant and we will be relentless. we must extract this cancer so that it will not spread and that we will continue to confront this hateful terror, he said, and replace it with hope. so obviously the u.s. involvement and the way we have been involved will continue. i thought it was interesting, too, to say, you know, this is the u.s.' stance and that's going to continue as strong, if not stronger, than it has been over the last week or so.
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but he didn't mention the journalist who remains in captivity by name. of course, the u.s. doesn't want to do any kind of direct speaking to this organization through an announcement in the media. if there is any influencing to be done at this point, that would have to be behind the scenes. i think the statement was exactly what we expected. you know, those words of condolence to james foley's family, talking about him as a person and also talking in no uncertain terms about the brutality of isis. anderson. >> michelle cosin zkosinski. we're going to have more. we'll take a short break. when it comes to good nutrition...i'm no expert.
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i'm anderson cooper. i want to welcome our viewers in the united states and watching around the world on cnn international. i'm reporting live from ferguson, missouri. for weeks, protesters here have been demanding justice. today, the judicial process takes a significant step forward. a grand jury will begin hearing evidence in the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old michael brown. as the local grand jury convenes, the nation's top lawyer has arrived in ferguson. attorney general eric holder is here to get an update on the federal investigation into the shooting. critics of the prosecutor handling the case are calling for him to be replaced. they say he has sided with law enforcement in criminal cases. and has deep ties to police. the protests were mostly peace florida someone threw a water bottle at police. authorities arrested some 47 people in the confrontation that followed. even before he arrived, the
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attorney general had a message. he wrote an op-ed today about the investigation into michael brown's death and the protests in ferguson. he writes, at the core of these demonstrations is a demand forrens ans about the circumstances of this young man's death. a broader concern about the state of our criminal justice system. the people of ferguson can have confidence the justice department intends to learn what happened. justice reporter evan perez joins us. this grand jury process, this is going to take a long time, as will the federal government. >> right, you should expect the state investigation here by the county prosecutor is probably going to have to wrap up before the feds even take a move on what to do on the civil rights case. that's typically how it works. that's probably something that he, the attorney general's saying at this hour. he's meeting with community leaders here. he's meeting with the brown family. the parents of michael brown. and that's one of the points he's going to make. this is going to take a long
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time. people need to have patience and, you know, justice will be done. >> obviously, patience is in short supply, given what has gone on here. there has been a federal government autopsy of michael brown. that also will not -- that information is likely not going to be released until the results of the investigation are released. >> right, that's typically how it's done. one of the concerns that the attorney general and the justice department has with this case is that some of this information is being leaked out while this case is still being investigated. that's one of the frustrations he has with how the local handling of this case has been so far. one of the things he's trying to do here is give people some reassurance that the federal investigation will be handled properly. the federal government is going to come back behind the scenes and make sure this is done right. >> do we know much before -- has the federal government been concerned about the police tacticings? i understand they may be sending
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someone in to give advice on crowds. >> that's one of the big problems. they feel that the militarization, the big armored trucks and so on that you see is really not the way to calm things don. that is a big concern for the attorney general. it's separate from the way -- the actual investigation, the county investigation. they have no, they have nothing to indicate that that's not going to be done properly. the bringing out of the heavy gear when people are simply throwing bottles. this is something he'll mention to the officials -- >> pointing rifles at unarmed protesters doesn't help the crowd calm down. >> right. >> in terms of the federal government, there have said to be dozens of fbi agents conducting interviews. >> they have, they've been going house to house, door knocking, trying to get interviews. according to officials i've talked to, they've gotten some interviews with witnesses that haven't even been talked to by
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the detectives from the county. now, obviously, the county has its handsful. they've been doing some of the police work to secure the streets. they also have some other issues out ahead. that's one of the things the attorney general's going to be talking about. look, we're already making some progress here. that will get us to a place where the family can feel good about what's happening. >> evan, thank you. there have been a lot of developments over the last 24 hours. the attorney general says he hopes an independent investigation will bring some measure of calm to the tensions in ferguson. the question is, will his visit help and is there something more going on behind the violence. i want to bring in cnn "crossfire" host van jones. you were with me last night out near where michael brown was shot. generally peaceful but a water bottle was thrown late in the hour, the crowd sort of changed, became a younger crowd, slightly
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more aggressive. more than 40 arrests made. you talked last night about the street drama of it, but behind the scenes, there's a lot going on by community activists. >> absolutely. i think we should give a shoutout to some of the young people, the organizers, who weren't out there throwing bottles, who were two blocks away, meeting, strategizing. trying to figure out how to get eric holder to understand their concerns. like the organization for black struggle. like color of change. like million hoodies movement. young leaders like pastor michael mcbride. >> some of these are groups which came up in the wake of the trayvon martin killing. >> absolutely. so you have a whole generation now from trayvon to this of -- they're in their 20s and they're realizing america's not working the way that it should for african-americans and they're going to have to get more involved. this is a transformational moment. it's not just the clergy and the police. the real drama here a young generation saw one of their own shot down and they're trying to figure out a way forward, moving
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forward peacefully, strategically. they are very smart ideas about how police cameras could be used on police cars. they also don't want to see the continued militarization of police. they also want money for education and jobs. these are young people with an agenda. they've not been the ones getting the most attention but the vast majority are not the few you see on tv, they're the ones straigtegizing behind the scenes. >> a lot of their goals go beyond what they would call justice in the case of michael brown. >> absolutely. you know, the sharp point of pain is that the officer should be arrested and should face a jury of his peers. no other american can shoot an unarmed person six times incl e including once in the head and not face a jury of his peers. but that really is, anderson, just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the concern. you do have a generation that feels, look, it's been a very bad summer. you've had four african-american men unarmed. you've had many more killed by african-american kids. you've had a lot of funerals
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this um is ir. suddenly you see a young generation saying we have to get involved. we're going to come up with demands. the organization for black struggle now has demands posted. they want to bring obama in. they want to set a new agenda for opportunity. this is not just about marching, about what happened yesterday. it's about fighting for the future. >> do the continuation of marches, does that help or does it take away? there's some concern about the family that some of the -- i guess more the violence we have seen has taken away from attention on what happened to michael brown. >> that is always a danger. at what point do mobilizing people in the streets does that bring more public attention and more sympathy? i think you saw last night a turning point. first of all, again, let's make sure to aplayed those young people who met all night, who were out here physically keep things safe. >> and the community leaders and
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religious leaders who werened staing -- and who the police finally it seems are starting to work with. >> i've been to a lot of protests in my life as a participant and as a, now, more recently, as a journalist. i've never seen the kind of provocative tactics from the police. you finally had the right combination. the police were no longer leveling guns at people. you know that's provocative. somebody could sneeze or stumble, you got another strategy. what stepped up was the preachers, the clergy, but also the organizational skill and talent of these young people. >> van jones, appreciate it. still to come, an american beheaded by isis. we've been talking about him, james foley. we'll look back on the life of james foley. want you to know about who he was, the life he led. we'll talk to a friend who travelled with him in syria. also ahead, shattered truce in gaza. what broke the latest cease-fire and efforts to stop the violence. we'll go live to the region. 24/7 it's just i'm a little reluctant to try new things. what's wrong with trying new things? feel that in your muscles?
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the deepening crisis in gaza. air strikes have resumed. talks at stopping the violence have fallen apart. i want to take you live to fred what have you been seeing in gaza in the last 24 hours? >> they issued that rn whatting about a half an hour ago. there was a big statement by the military wing of hamas. they warned any international airlines of flying into taking
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off and landing could be subject to rocket fire. we know when the hostilities were going on the last time a couple of weeks ago, there were a lot of international airlines that refused to fly in ben gurion for a while. they also warned against public gatherings in comes as the violence here is s is escalating again. hundreds of rockets were launched towards israel. the israeli military says 175 rockets at least were launched towards its territory. some were intercepted by the iron dome missile defense system. others appear to have fallen aps far as tel aviv. with saw a lot of air strikes today. some very big air strikes as well. there was one that was particularly noteworthy because hamas says israel tried to
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liquidate of head of the qassam brigades. that's they're intensifying their rocket fire, is that assassination attempt. doesn't look like a cease-fire is something in the cards. what we're seeing here is a lot of military
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military's head wife and baby but the deputy head of hamas was not killed.
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>> look, i don't want to make any specific comment, but they can say generally that of course we are trying to intercept terrorists and especially chief terrorists like this. you know, in the past, ten years ago, he was involved in sending several, many, actually, suicide bombers in israel, killing hundreds of israeli civilians. from gaza, it's more difficult to send bombers into our streets, into our restaurants. so instead of sending suicide bombers, now he and his people are trying to launch rockets, to attack us with rockets. but it's the same man who in the past used suicide bombing tactic and now shifted his tactic to launch rockets. of course we have the right and actually the duty to intercept people like muhammad def and
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others. >> the official said israel was not negotiating in good faith. they were not addressing palestinian desires to have more open borders, to have more control over their borders and their waterways. >> this is maybe the most ridiculous claim i ever heard. he is part of the palestinian authority. we got commitment signed on the white house lawn by yasser arafat and abu manzen that gaza in the west bank will remain demilitarized forever, come what may. this commitment was signed by abuse ma abu manzen, the palestinian president, 20 years ago. that gaza will remain demilitarized forever, come what may. so to tell us now that it's
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dishonest to demand demilitarization of gaza once more, this is ridiculous. you know what, really, this is the core of the problem. why we don't have to fight around ramallah, only because the demilitarization of ramallah, the west bank, was not violated. nobody has struggled thousands of iranian rockets into ramallah. now has launched thousands of rockets from ramallah into tel aviv. so the only difference, the only reasons why we have to fight around gaza, with a lot of suffering, both from israelis and palestinians in gaza, is hamas is violated the demillization of gaza, struggled demilitarized zone and launched thousands of those rockets into israel, almost 4,000, only in
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the last few week. no democratic government can accept such rockkú9íl attacks o suicide bombing attacks or internal incursions into its territory. of course, we have to defend our people and to strike back. exact exact exactly like the united states when they're under attack from similar terrorist organizations like al qaeda and isis and boko har haram, you name it. >> palestinian groups will counter by saying the occupation of gaza, although you have left the gaza strip, they believe it still continues because you control the borders, you control the access by water. i appreciate you being on. up next, more on the execution of james foley by the terror group isis and the brutal tactics of isis ahead. [ man ] look how beautiful it is.
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you do your push-ups today? prepare to be amazed. [ male announcer ] don't wait. call today to request your free decision guide and find the aarp medicare supplement plan to go the distance with you. go long. welcome back. president obama just spoke out last hour on the beheading of american journalist james foley. the president said he was able to talk with the family today. he had this to say about those responsible for foley's death. >> no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. no just god would stand for what they do every single day.
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isil has no ideology of any value to human beings. their ideology is bankrupt. they may claim out of ex-pe pepy they're at war with the united states or the west, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision. and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior. and people like this ultimately fail. >> mr. obama also urged the entire middle east to join together to, in his words, extract this cancer so it doesn't spread. strong words from the president today. i want to have more on what we heard described as isis' first terror attack against the united states. joining me now is robin wright, middle east analyst at the woodrow rwilson center. does the beheading of an american, shouldn't really come as any surprise, really, given what we have seen from isis over
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the last, well, certainly several months. >> it's not a surprise, but it's also an age-old tactic by some of the extremist groups in the region. i lived in the beirut in the 1980s when cnn's own jeremy levin, abc's charlie glass and the associated press terry anderson's was taken hostage. it creates such a drama and trauma for the home country of these hostages. so isis has been brutal in dealing with whether it's the foreign journalists in others, it's taken hostage with the minorities, christian yazidi and others, both in iraq and syria. so this does not come as a surprise. but i think we have crossed a threshold now in how to deal with them. >> and certainly i mean this tape is going to be dissected by intelligence experts to try to determine a location, to certainly determine when the video was shot, which will don't know, to try to determine even the identity of this, of the masked killer.
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>> sure it's very difficult to find out, as we know, with the case of osama bin laden, how long it took to find him, to identify where he was. these are -- isis is constantly on the move in irya areas in s and iraq. they cross back and forth. i suspect they're nowhere near the place they actually executed james foley. >> also, you know, the technological abilities of isis. think back to the taliban which didn't want to be photographed, didn't want to be videotaped, wouldn't want cameras pointed in their direction because they said it went against their version of islam. isis has, you know, a sophisticated media strategy, a sophisticated digital strategy. some of the videos they put out look like music videos and a beheading video like this will be used really, sickeningly enough, as a recruiting tool. >> yes, and they have been the most sophisticated of all the extremist movements in using
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social media, using all the different web outlets, twitter, and making its videos as part of a recruiting campaign. which apparently has been very effective. there have been reports just in the last month alone several thousand have joined its ranks, including many from outside either syria or iraq. so there's a real danger. and that's what's going to make it really hard for the administration to figure out, how to deal with isis. up until now, whether it's in syria or iraq, we have tried to avoid that confrontation and let forces on the ground deal with it, but i think in the last two weeks, we have crossed there threshold in confronting them directly. u.s. intervention in iraq is no longer simply about creating safety for stranded minorities or protecting the capital of kurdistan. we have moved into a new phase i think of what was once dubbed the war on terrorism. this is a different group and with the execution of james foley, we now face a challenge not just inside iraq but also inside syria, and bringing
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justice, as the president has now promised, will involve some kind of dealing on the ground or by air in syria as well. >> wow. well, we'll see. robin, thank you very much. ahead, we're going to talk with a photographer who was going to meet james foley the day he went missing in syria. we want to learn more about james foley and his life. we'll be right back.
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the horror of the way james foley died speaks for itself it it's hard to imagine that fate for someone close to you. the day foley went missing he was supposed to meet with a freelance photographer, nicole tung. nicole joins us from new york. thank you for being here. i'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. i was wondering if you heard the president speaking a short time ago and what was going through your mind, if you did hear him.
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>> yes, i did hear president obama speaking short while ago about james' execution and i think that what went through my mind is it's amazing that there's been such an outpouring of i guess support and also at the same time disgust and anger at this -- at this horrific execution. >> we've been try to show as many pictures as we can of james foley in life. rather than pictures of him in those final moments. because i think it's important for people to learn what his life was like, the life he lived, the person he was. what was he like as a friend, as a colleague? >> first and foremost, he was one of the most outstanding people that i ever knew. he was just a very warm and kind and, you know, gentle person. he was really good at making friends and warming up to people and often when i was working
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with him in syria, me also being a woman in an arab society, it was much easier and more appropriate for him to approach people to, you know, get us access and to talk to people and to make friends that way. and so i felt so comfortable and so at ease traveling with him because i knew that he was very calm under, you know, stressful situations. but also he was -- he was more than just a journalist. he really cared about his subjects and the stories he reported on. and in particular, you know, i tried to stress that he was so horrified by the situation in aleppo for the civilians at one point that he felt so compelled to raise money for an ambulance for a hospital there that we had been covering for some time. >> is that what drove him? i mean, to go to syria at this time, as you did, as he did, and tell that story, you know the danger. it's the most dangerous place right now for journalists,
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really for anyone. what was his drive? was it to tell the stories of the people caught in the midst of this conflict? >> absolutely. i think he was just so i guess shocked by it, especially the civilian situation, and the fact that many of them had been, you know, simply sitting in their homes, being bombed out of their homes, being forced to flee. even when they didn't have any political aspirations or any particular, you know, loyalty to either the government or the other side. so he was very interested in that particular plight. but also -- he also wanted to tell the stories of the rebel fighters themselves.n there was a libyan fighter who he try to show wasn't actually the extremist that we have come to know. he was actually just a simple, you know, libyan guy, you know, who wanted to go to help the
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cause in syria. so he tried to dispel a lot of -- i think a lot of stereotypes about what was actually happening inside the country and that was really the kind of person he was. >> well, nicole, i'm sorry we're meeting under these circumstances and i'm sorry that i never met him, and i appreciate you talking about your friend, thank you very much. >> thanks, anderson. attorney general eric holder has arrived here, trying to help ease some of tensions in ferguson, missouri. now people wait as the grand jury looks over the evidence, though that's going to take weeks. there's controversy over the prosecutor and we'll look at that next.
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attorney general eric holder has arrived in ferguson, missouri, to help ease tensions here. this 11 days after police officers shot and killed 18-year-old michael brown, sparking massive protests. protesters gathered in front of the prosecutor's office calling for him to remove himself from the grand jury proceedings. the issue is robert mccullough's background. we bring in george howe. george, the evidence is presented in secret and then the grand jury will decide whether to move forward with criminal charges. why do people think mccullough is not fit to lead? is it what they say are the familiar yol connections? >> that's exactly it. people are concerned about his family connections when it comes to police departments. you have to keep in mind, his
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brother, cousin, uncle, all police officers. even his mother a clerk at a police department. people are concerned about that. but more so, this point. the fact that 1964, mr. mccullough's father was shot and killed by an african-american suspect. it has protesters concerned he can't handle a case fairly with an african-american victim. one new development we learned today amid protests here outside the st. louis county prosecuting attorney's office. we learned that a grand jury will start looking at evidence in this case. they're targeting mid october. so that is the time line. that's when we expect them to start. and then darren wilson's side of the story. still unclear. we haven't heard that. we heard many other eye-witnesses give their account as to what they say happened to michael brown. >> ultimately, the evidence presented before the grand jury, that will come out publicly,
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though not for a while, correct? >> reporter: right. and what you have is, you have that story, that evidence, being discussed, quite frankly, behind closed doors. they will be looking at that, and making a decision as to how this case will proceed. in the meantime, what we have heard, and we've heard a wealth of it. we have heard from eye-witnesses explaining what they believe happened to michael brown. and more than that, anderson, this case in many ways, you have people -- the concerns of other issues are basically taking voice in this case. there's a great frustration you sense in the community, and people initially are just demanding answers, some accountability when it comes to this case. >> and you may have reported this, but how often does this grand jury actually meet? often grand juries just meet once a week or a few times a week. >> reporter: right. well, we know when it comes to this particular case, right now they're targeting mid march. we expected them -- or mid
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october, pardon me. we expected them to start talking about the evidence today, but now we have confirmed, we understand, they will start looking through the evidence mid october. and that's when we'll start to see more of the legal behind the scenes take place. >> all right. george, appreciate the reporting. that's it for me. for viewers on cnn international, stay with us for "news center." for viewers on cnn "newsroom" with brooke baldwin starts after the break.
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this is charlie. his long day of doing it himself starts with back pain... and a choice. take 4 advil in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. honey, you did it! baby laughs!
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and here we go. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we'll take to you ferguson, missouri, in a moment here, where we know attorney general eric holder is right now, meeting with leaders in that community. but first, a chilling message in a cruel and absolutely horrific video here showing the sickening execution of an american. isis is uploading the footage of kidnapped american journalist, james foley. you see him on his knees, next to a masked man, and we're showing you only these images, as you're about to see here moments before his brutal beheading. >> any attempt by you, obama, to deny the muslims their rights of living in safety under the islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people. >>

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